As reports of hate crimes increase in the state, Massachusetts has activated a new state police force to help deter hate crimes, support victims, and build more resilient communities. Democratic Gov. Maura Healey made the announcement Monday.
The newly formed Hate Crime Awareness and Response Team will help enhance data collection and information sharing across the state to identify patterns and trends across the state, nationally and globally, officials said. Ta.
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It will also develop training protocols to improve how law enforcement agencies investigate hate crimes and streamline coordination among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies.
“Here in Massachusetts, we stand firm against hate and back up that effort with resources and investment,” Healy said.
According to a recent report released by the Department of Public Safety, there will be 440 reported hate crime incidents statewide in 2022, up from 406 in 2021 and the highest number since 2002.
In 2022, as in previous years, prejudice against racial, ethnic, or national origin was the most commonly reported motive for prejudice, followed by prejudice against religious groups and prejudice against sexual orientation.